NHL Rumors: Henrik Lundqvist back on ice; Kirill Kaprizov to KHL not an idle threat; and Zibanejad for Eichel?

Henrik Lundqvist comeback
Jan 19, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) after their 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Lundqvist appears to be starting his comeback. The 39 year-old netminder was ineligible to participate in free-agency because he had not been medically cleared. Today, he posted on his IG account a pair of pads and a message.

“Not sure how many times I’ve been sitting here, tying and untying the pads over the years, 15.000? I’m just guessing,” he wrote. “Back at it, we’ll see what happens.”

NHL Rumors: Lundqvist on the comeback trail

Henrik Lundqvist tried to make a comeback this past April after having open heart surgery. “Right after getting back on the ice after surgery, I made it my “stretch goal” to join the Capitals for the end of the season,” he wrote on Social Media. “Training has been going really well and I’ve been feeling good – but my heart isn’t quite ready.”

Bob McKenzie reported on Day 1 of Free Agency that the legendary goalie wants to come back for the upcoming season. Lundqvist is not able to be signed as he’s yet to receive medical clearance. It appears he’s working towards that goal.

Where will he land?

Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev is rumored to be on the trade block. If they trade him, there’s a growing belief the Rangers could bring back The King for one more season and give him the proper send off he deserves.

All he needs is the clearance.

Kirill Kaprizov KHL threat not an idle one

kaprizov khl
May 8, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) tosses a puck to a fan after a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov has a tentative deal in place CSKA Moscow in the KHL. According to Frank Seravalli, there’s been no offer made since April. If a deal with the Wild can’t be reached by September 1, Kaprizov could be playing in Russia.

This is not some idle threat. The deal is believed to be at least $10,000,000 and Kaprizov could make even more in endorsements in his native Russia.

Per Kaprizov’s camp, they have not received an offer from the Wild after they rejected an 8 year deal. This KHL tactic may have worked as it seems GM Bill Guerin is willing to now do a short-term deal.

Mika Zibanejad for Jack Eichel?

New York Rangers rumors
Mar 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his goal with left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and left wing Chris Kreider (20) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carpiniello who covers the Rangers for The Athletic decided it would be fun to tweet and run.

“Just tossing this out there as I head for some vacation time,” he began. “DO NOT be surprised if Mika Zibanejad is in the deal that ultimately brings Jack Eichel to the Rangers.”

Ever since the Rangers were rumored to be interested in Jack Eichel, many raised the question if they could also afford to keep Mika Zibanejad. This is a fair and valid point.

Eichel makes $10 million a season for the next five years. Zibanejad is about to cash in on a possible $10 million deal of his own soon. Can the Rangers afford to have possibly the best one-two center punch this side of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?

The answer is yes, but it would obviously take some playing around with cap and other contracts to make it work.

Let’s also be clear about this, Mika Zibanejad has a full no-move clause that he will not waive to go to Buffalo. Nor would the Sabres take on a player that will walk next summer in a trade for their franchise player.

Could a third team get involved to facilitate a move that includes Mika? Yes, but than why make this trade at all? The whole point I was led to believe earlier in the year is that the Rangers want a killer one-two punch down the middle.

I just don’t see this happening.